Meet the Creative Who Helped Grow Living Plants on Clothes for Loewe

Source: Vogue – 28 June 2022

It was hard to miss the living greenery sprouting from the runway pieces at Loewe’s spring/summer 2023 show in Paris over the weekend, which explored the relationship between nature and technology (or the “fusion of the organic and the fabricated,” as creative director Jonathan Anderson put it).

But actually incorporating live plants into garments was no easy feat, and the result of months of collaboration with Spanish textile designer Paula Ulargui Escalona, who began developing her technique during the final year of her degree in fashion design and communication at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Madrid.

Chia plants and catswort were grown on the runway pieces at Loewe.  Acielle StyleDuMonde

“We spent four months testing different garments [and] accessories until we decided which ones we wanted and which plants we wanted,” Ulargui Escalona tells Vogue of working with Loewe, whose design team approached her directly about her work. “It was actually very challenging as I’m in Spain, so I had to grow them here and then send them to Paris in 24 hours. There was always this tension [of seeing whether] they were still going to be good when they arrived.”

The garments were created in collaboration with Paula Ulargui Escalona.  Acielle StyleDuMonde

Eventually, the team landed on chia plants and catswort for the collection, with the seeds prepped in advance by Ulargui Escalona in Spain. They were then transported to Paris, where they were grown in a polytunnel 20 days ahead of the show – with the designer on hand to ensure the plants had the right conditions and all the nutrients and minerals they needed.

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